Softball caps off Tucson Invitational

Softball caps off Tucson Invitational

TUCSON, Ariz. – The Dakota Wesleyan University softball team finished the 2019 Tucson Invitational with a five-game stretch after winning two games and dropping three games on Wednesday and Thursday in Tucson, Ariz.

 The Tigers (5-15) defeated Missouri Valley in the first game on Wednesday by a score of 8-4. Andrea Konz (Mitchell, S.D.) kicked off the scoring with an RBI single to center field. Two batters later, Andi Sprakel (Yankton, S.D.) recorded another RBI with a single to right field, as DWU held a 4-0 lead after two innings.

 Two innings later, Melysia Ortega (West Covina, Calif.) singled to left field, while Sierra Haage (Sioux Falls, S.D.) smacked a double to center field, scoring two runs.

 Up by two runs in the top of the sixth frame, Karly Severance (Las Vegas, Calif.) added a pair of insurance runs with a two-run homerun to help the Tigers secure the victory.

 Severance finished 2-for-5 with two RBIs and a run, while Sprakel, Ortega, Haage, Konz and Amber Budmark (Sacramento, Calif.) tallied an RBI apiece. Alyson VanderPol (Mitchell, S.D.) picked up the win for the Tigers as she pitched four innings, allowing just four runs.

 The second game on Wednesday did not go as planned as DWU fell to Siena Heights, 10-0. The Tigers struggled offensively as they recorded three hits in 16 at bats. Devany Farris (Cheyenne, Wyo.) finished the game 1-for-1 at the plate, as Julia Kelley (Omaha, Neb.) and Claudia Nixon (Shaunavon, Saskatchewan, Canada) each went 1-for-2. Farris was given the loss as she pitched four innings and gave up six earned runs.

 In the final game on Wednesday, the Tigers took on a familiar foe in Dakota State University. After the Trojans took a 1-0 lead in the top of the opening inning, DWU answered back with a four-run bottom half of the frame highlighted by a Haage three-run homerun. One inning later, Budmark added another homerun, this time a two-run homer over the left field fence to put the Tigers up 6-1.

 After DSU scored two runs in the top of the fourth inning, Budmark answered back with another two-run homerun to put the Tigers up 8-3. However, the Trojans completed the comeback as they scored eight runs in the final three innings to down DWU, 11-8.

 Budmark led the Tigers as she went 2-for-4 with four RBIs, two homeruns and two runs. Haage finished 1-for-4 with three RBIs and a homerun, while she pitched seven innings and struck out five batters.

 The Tigers took on Brevard College in the first game on Thursday and defeated the Tornados, 11-1. Severance began the scoring with a two-run shot to left field to put DWU up 2-0 early. In the next inning, Adriana Thomason (Las Vegas, Nev.) nailed an RBI double to left field, followed by a Budmark single that brought Sprakel home to push the lead to 4-0.

 Budmark added another pair of runs with a double in the fourth frame, while freshman Peyton Senger (Sioux Falls, S.D.) tallied an RBI to give the Tigers a 7-0 lead. DWU finished the game with four runs in the sixth inning to run-rule the Tornados.

 Budmark went 2-for-3 with three RBIs and Severance finished 2-for-4 with three RBIs. Nixon went 1-for-4 at the plate with two RBIs, while Senger finished 1-for-2 with an RBI. Kyllie Ramirez (Revillo, S.D.) pitched six innings in the win as she struck out a batter and only allowed four hits.

 In the final game of the week, the Tigers lost to No. 25 Valley City State University, 13-0. DWU trailed just 1-0 after the second inning, but a 10-run third frame pushed the Vikings onto victory.

 Mikael Smith (Brandon, S.D.) finished 1-for-1, while Kindra Clark (Garretson, S.D.) went 1-for-2 and Chaydon Metzger (Larchwood, Iowa) finished 1-for-3 at the plate. VanderPol pitched two innings and struck out a batter, as Farris pitched three innings and struck out three batters.

 The Tigers are scheduled to begin conference play against Northwestern College at 1 p.m. March 16 in Orange City, Iowa.